Serious Eats: How Ivan Orkin is Changing New York's Ramen Cuisine

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt

Ivan Orkin's Slurp Shop over in the Gotham West Market never pretended to be traditional in any sense of the word (see our review here), but it still had its feet firmly planted within the grounds of recognizable Japanese fare. Curry rice, noodles, and rice bowls are not particularly wild, even if they're topped with smoked white fish or slow-roasted pork shoulder.

With the opening of his flagship restaurant on the Lower East Side, however, things take a decided turn for the wackier. Beyond Orkin's lighter, less fatty ramen broths (a refreshing change-up from the New York standard), he now has menu items like fried tofu with Coney Island chili sauce and roast pork onigiri topped with tomato. Staid ramen bar this is not; Orkin's new restaurant shows the potential for ramen to join the broader category of American cuisine, not just Japanese food. To see just what that means we tackled the entire menu.

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